Published 11:01 pm Friday, December 20, 2013

Customers shop at The Pink Parlor in Troy, Ala., Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Last minute shoppers hit the Square in search of deals

With the clock clicking ever closer to Christmas, people all across the country are searching for the perfect last minute gifts. Luckily for residents of Pike County, Troy is home to a number of local stores that are full of stocking stuffers and presents guaranteed to bring a smile to that special someone.

Shoppers flocked to Troy’s downtown Square on Friday afternoon looking to grab some last minute gifts before Christmas

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Kaylee Ulmar, shopping at Glow, said she tries to do most of her shopping in Troy. “I’m out shopping for stocking stuffers right now,” Ulmar said. “I got distracted looking at these watches, though. I do almost all of my shopping either in Troy or online. I like to support local businesses because they are easy and convenient.”

Shopping almost exclusively in Troy has not stopped Ulmar from finding a number of good deals. “When you live in a small town like Troy, it is important that everyone support one another,” Ulmar said. “Most of the business owners and employees are our family and friends. We did a lot of shopping on Black Friday, and we were able to find a ton of great deals. It’s nice to not have to do a lot of driving to go shopping. It definitely helps during last minute shopping.”

Juliette Adams of the Pink Parlor said this Christmas season has been a little slower than in years past, but has picked up recently. “The Christmas season has been okay this year,” Adams said. “We could be busier, and we always want to see more people in the store. We have had more last minute shoppers than ever before this year, though. We hope that everyone comes by and shops downtown before Christmas.”

Adams said she believes the economy has played a role in causing the slower Christmas season. “I think some people have been scared to spend money because of the economy,” Adams said. “Don’t be scared to buy gifts for people around Christmas. Enjoy your shopping. Don’t be so skeptical. Christmas is supposed to be an enjoyable time of the year, not a stressful one.”

See how shopping locally helps the Pike County economy

Stephanie Telfair, manager at Cotton Creek, said her store has been very busy over the past two months. “We have been really busy during the Christmas season,” Telfair said. “I would say that our amount of business has probably doubled. We have almost sold out of all of our Southern Shirt Company merchandise. Everyone has been coming in lately looking for those last minute gifts.”

Telfair said the store has been selling more small items than usual during the holiday season. “People have been buying lots of smaller items lately,” Telfair said. “We’ve sold lots of key chains, bowties, koozies and gift cards. Gift cards may actually be the best gift you can get somebody if you don’t know what to get them. That way they can come back and buy exactly what they want after Christmas. We are open until Christmas Eve and will even wrap your presents for you. We hope everyone will come by and see us.”

For the first time ever, the shops on the Square will be open on the Sunday before Christmas to accommodate last minute shoppers.